File Conversion Window (Utilities Menu)

FILECONW

FileConv

Midi Quest Pro only

Purpose:

The File Conversion Window is used to convert files stored by other software packages into Sound Quest file format (ie. Dr.T D-50 Patches). The process is not a simple one and will probably take a fair amount of time to setup so unless you have a substantial number of files to convert.

Converting MidiX Files - If you know that the file(s) are in MIDIX format, please move to the next page for instructions on converting these files.

Converting SMF Files - If you know that the file(s) containing the SysEx data is in SMF (Standard MIDI File) format then please move on 2 pages for instructions on converting these files.

Converting No Header/Unison Files - If you know the type of data that the file contains and the data is stored with out header information then please move on 3 pages for instructions on converting these files.

 

 

Directions:

Note: The following instructions should be used to convert files you have obtained that are not stored in Sound Quest's file format. If you know that the SysEx data you

Warning! To use this window you should:

1.Have a knowledge and understanding of hexadecimal.
2.Be able to spot relevant SysEx data in a file.
3.Be able to create complete SysEx messages.
4.Be able to read and understand the System Exclusive

implementation charts of your instrument.

The File Conversion Window is used to convert files from other manufacturer's formats into Sound Quest's file format so that they can be used by the software.

The steps to converting a file are as follows:

1.Open the File Conversion Window.
2.Load the Sound Quest Driver for the data into the window.
3.Determine the file format of the old file to convert.
4.Write a macro that reads & converts the old file.
5.Select "Convert File to SQ" or "Convert Directory to SQ".
6.Load the new component to ensure proper conversion.
7."Save" the new conversion macro to disk for later use.

NOTE: With an existing conversion macro replace 3,4,5 with 8.

8."Open" an existing file conversion macro.

Step 1. Opening the File Conversion Window.

Use the following steps to access the File Conversion Window:

1.Bring down the "Utilities" menu.
2.Select "File Conversion Window" (item 8).

Step 2. Loading the Sound Quest Driver

The Sound Quest Driver must be loaded into the File Conversion Window because this information is an integral part of every Sound Quest SysEx file. It also tells the File Conversion Window what kind of data is being converted. A driver can be obtained from two locations, directly from disk or from the Studio Window.

Loading the Driver from disk:

1.Select on the File Conversion Window to activate it.
2.Display the Convert menu.
3.Select the "Load Driver From Disk" item.
4.Use the displayed File Selector to select the driver.
5.Select OK to load the driver.
6.The driver name will appear below "Convert to:".

Loading the Driver from the Studio:

1.Display the Studio Window (if necessary).
2.Select the Driver to load into File Conversion.
3.Select on the File Conversion Window to activate it.
4.Display the Convert menu.
5.Select the "Load Driver From List" option.
6.The selected driver will appear below "Convert to:".

After the driver has been loaded, it will automatically fill in the "Extension" text area with its extension.

 

Step 3. Determining the File Format

The Sound Quest format file stores much more than just the System Exclusive information. It also stores comments, file search codes, and information on how the data is to be transmitted. Sound Quest's file format also stores complete MIDI System Exclusive messages unlike many other manufacturers which only store the data.

With the release of v6.0, the File Conversion Window can now attempt to write the conversion macro for you. Please keep in mind however that this is only the program's guess at what is correct and it may in fact not be. In the end, you must determine whether the macro is correct or not. To have the program attempt to create the macro, press the "Build Sample Macro" button. The program will display a file selector. Use this selector to choose one of the files which needs to be converted. The program will load and analyze the file. If it thinks it has found the SysEx data in the file, it will build the appropriate macro. If not, it will give you a warning message that you will need to write the macro yourself. This can be difficult but the following steps should assist you.

The format of another manufacturer's file can be determined in one of these ways:

1.The format is printed in the manufacturer's manual.
2.Use the "Load File to SysEx Window" menu item to load the file and search for the data within the file.
3.Use some other program or utility you own to view the file and analyze its contents.

Assuming that you must determine the manufacturer's file format, here is one of the best ways to to it:

1.Load file into Midi Quest using "Load File to SysEx Window"
2.Search for names stored within the file.
3.Compare the position of the name(s) in the file to where they are stored in the data and work backwards to determine where the data starts.
4.This method assumes that the SysEx data has not been "converted" in any way.

 

Step 4 - Write a Macro Conversion

If the new automated macro builder was successful, then you will already have a macro written for you at this point. If the software was unable to analyze the data to be converted, you will need to write your own macro.

Clicking the mouse BELOW the "Conversion Macro" title will activate a cursor where the file conversion macro is entered. When the conversion process is started, Midi Quest automatically opens the selected data for reading AND allocates the memory required for a file using this driver.

If you are lucky enough to know that the file you want to convert is in MIDIX format, just press the "Create MIDIX Macro" button and the macro will be created for the data. Otherwise, continue with the process of creating a conversion macro.

Remember, this whole process is not intelligent with very few checks to verify that what you are asking to do is acceptable. Its very easy to crash the computer by giving the system incorrect information.

Every conversion macro will vary according to the specific manufacturer and the type of data which is being converted but as a general rule the steps will occur in this order:

1.Advance the disk file to where the SysEx data is (DS n).
2.Read the SysEx data from old file -> new file (DR n x).
3.Add SysEx header if necessary (FA 6 0 {F0 43 0 0 1 1B}).
4.Add SysEx tail if necessary.

NOTE: the bracketed commands show the relevant macro commands which accomplish the required function where n and x are some numeric value.

It may, of course, be necessary to perform multiple disk seeks and reads as well as a wider range of formatting. Obviously it will be necessary to read the section describing the macro language extensively.

WARNING: Make sure that the DR macro call reads data into the allocated memory and NOT beyond or nasty problems can result. The same warning holds true for the FA macro command.

 

Step 5. Convert the File

To convert the file, select either "Convert File to SQ" or "Convert Dir to SQ". The software takes the following steps:

1.Opens a File Selector
2.Choose the file to convert and Select "Ok"
3.Data is allocated for the Conversion Driver
4.The selected disk file is opened and prepared.
5.The macro is executed.
6.The Sound Quest file is saved to disk with the extension currently in the "Extension" box in the window.
7.If directory processing Loop to #3 for all files.

note: even for directory processing, you must select at least one file with the file selector

If you wish to convert only those files with a particular extension, enter this extension in the "Ext Select" entry area. For instance, if you only wished to convert files with the ".DDF" extension, you would enter "*.DDF".

WARNING: If a directory of files is being converted, ALL of the files in that directory MUST be of the same type.

WARNING: If there are two or more files with the same name but different extensions, all of the converted files will be lost except the last one converted. The files should be renamed before the conversion process is started.

 

Step 6 - Load the New File to Verify

After the files have been converted, the new files should be loaded to ensure that the process proceeded properly. This is particularly important when you have just written your own conversion macro.

Take the following steps:

1.Bring down the "Windows" menu.
2.Select the "Edit Window" item.
3.A File Selector will appear.
4.Select the newly created SysEx file and press "Ok".
5.Verify that the data has been converted properly.
6.Transmit the data to your instrument.
7.Verify the data aurally.

Congratulations, you have successfully converted file formats.

 

Step 7 - Save the Conversion Macro

Once the conversion macro has been tested, you can save it to disk for later use. When the macro is saved to disk, the Driver file in use is also saved with the macro and is automatically loaded with the macro. Before saving the file if you wish, you may add a comment in the comment box so that you may easily keep track of what this conversion macro does in the future.

Take the following steps to save the macro:

1.Activate the File Conversion Window (click mouse on it).
2.Display the "Files" menu.
3.Select the "Save As... " item.
4.Enter a name for the macro.
5.Select "OK" to save the macro.

 

Step 8 - Load a Conversion Macro

If you want to use a conversion macro you have written and saved or received from someone else, follow these steps to load it:

1.Select on the File Conversion Window to activate it.
2.Display the "Files" menu.
3.Select the "Open" item.
4.Use the File Selector to select the macro.
5.Press "OK" to load the macro.
6.Midi Quest will load the selected macro for use.

NOTE: the conversion macro file does not actually save the Sound Quest Driver it is using, only a path to where that driver is located on disk. If you obtain a conversion macro from someone else, make sure that you either have the requisite driver yourself or you obtain the driver as well.

 

The Convert Menu

When the File Conversion Window is active, the "Convert" menu is available as the third menu strip. It contains four items (three on the PC) used in creating conversion macros.

The Menu Items are:

1.Compile
2.Load File to SysEx Window
3.Load Driver From Disk
4.Load Driver From List

Compile

1.Enter a macro or a portion thereof.
2.Select "Compile" from the "Convert" menu.
3.Find and correct the error if an error message results.

The "Compile" item runs a test compile on the conversion macro. This option should be run before trying to convert a file from one format to the Sound Quest format. If there is an error, a message window is displayed indicating the line that the error occurred on, along with the character position at which it occurred.

Drop To

This item contains four sub options which controls what happens to files which are dropped in the window.

1.SysEx Window - is the default. Files dropped in the window are opened in a SysEx Window. This is the equivalent of choosing Load File to SysEx Window and selecting a file.
2.Convert Using Macro - runs the conversion process Convert File to SQ on each of the dropped files
3.Convert as Midi File - runs the conversion process Extract from SMF on each of the dropped files
4.Build Macro - runs the Build Sample Macro function on the supplied driver to attempt to create a conversion macro

Each each case, you can read about the appropriate function (on this page) for more information.

Load File to SysEx Window

1.Select "Load File to SysEx Window" from the "Convert" menu.
2.A File Selector will be displayed.
3.Choose the file to be converted.
4.The entire file will be loaded into a SysEx Window.

This option provides an effective way to load an ENTIRE disk file into Midi Quest for viewing in both hexadecimal and character formats. Keep in mind that this is NOT A TRUE SysEx file and should NOT be saved from the SysEx Window.

Once the data has been placed in the SysEx Window, the window can be used to find the location of relevant data and greatly assists in the creation of conversion macros.

WARNING: Do NOT abuse the capability of loading foreign components into Midi Quest unconverted. They should be used only for viewing. The program can not understand them in any other way. We are not responsible for the results if they are.

Load Driver From Disk

1.Select "Load Driver From Disk" from the "Convert" menu.
2.A File Selector will be displayed.
3.Choose the driver to be loaded.
4.The driver will be loaded into File Conversion Window.

When a new macro is being written, the File Conversion needs a driver to know what kind of SsEX it will be creating. This option enables any driver to be loaded from disk.

Load Driver From List

1.Display the Studio Window if necessary.
2.Select the driver for the File Conversion Window.
3.Select "Load Driver From List" from the "Convert" menu.
4.The driver will be copied into File Conversion Window.

When a new macro is being written, the File Conversion needs a driver to know what kind of SysEx it will be creating. This option enables any driver in the Studio Window to be copied into the File Conversion Window.

Note: when converting a directory of SysEx files with the 32 bit version of the software, the program will use only the 8.3 version of the file name. It will not use the long file name for the conversion. If any of the files use long file names, not only will you see a change of extension but also a change of name. If you wish to retain the full long name version, convert the files one at a time.

See also: The Utilities Menu